maple bacon mini cupcakes.

oh yes, friends, i went there.

and you know what? it wasn’t my first time going there, either.

i’ve made different iterations of bacon cupcakes a handful of times in the past few years, and they’re all quite delicious. usually i make ’em as birthday treats for boys, because as it turns out, guys really dig bacon.

these itty bitty maple bacon cupcakes are without a doubt the best version i’ve made yet. hands down!

this month, the Recipe Swap hosted by Christianna of Burwell General Store turns one! happy birthday Recipe Swap! i joined the group a few months ago and have had such a blast re-imagining a new vintage recipe each month. i love getting the monthly e-mail in my inbox and opening it excitedly, wondering what old-timey recipe will serve as inspiration for the coming month. such fun!

this month’s recipe was for Maple Cake, which is pretty much perfect for November. i lovelovelove maple syrup so much. the real stuff, mind you, not that faux maple-flavored corn syrup sold on the shelves as “pancake syrup.” that stuff makes my skin crawl. it just tastes so…artificial.

guys, i even have a pancakes & syrup scented candle. seriously. it’s pretty much my favorite thing in the universe.

while i know that pure maple syrup is a bit pricey, a little bit goes a long way. when Ryan and i first started dating, i’d make him breakfast every Sunday morning. scientific fact: boys like it when you make them breakfast, especially when said breakfast includes from-scratch buttermilk pancakes, perfectly crisp, thick slices of bacon and eggs over easy, yolks just barely set. oh yeah.

my wooing tactics are pretty solid. i can totally see why he asked me to marry him!

anyhow. like most bachelor boys, Ryan only had pancake syrup in his fridge. i was a little terrified by the amount of said syrup he poured atop his breakfast…and a little miffed, too! i mean, i had cooked my little heart out, developing amazing flavors to create a ridiculously delicious breakfast, and he was pretty much muting all of those flavors with pancake syrup. sad.

i made sure to bring over some of the good stuff the next time i made him breakfast. Ryan was hesitant; the maple syrup i brought him was a deep, dark amber; thick and rich and viscous. his familiar pancake syrup, by comparison was thin and runny; only one or two shades away from being clear.

i told him to drizzle a tiny bit onto his pancakes, since even a small amount of pure maple syrup is rich and sweet and so flavorful. he was way skeptical. i guess i would be too, if i’d spent my life drowning my pancakes in syrup!

i’m pretty sure he was a believer after one bite.

the moral of the story is that you should really invest in pure maple syrup. it’s natural, healthier, and tastes worlds better than that overly-sweet faux maple pancake syrup. yuck.

i think we can all agree that the best part about breakfast is bacon covered in maple syrup, yes? yes. i love getting a bite of bacon and pancake on a fork, and dragging that slowly through the shallow pool of maple syrup on the plate.

that’s exactly what these cupcakes taste like. totally heavenly.

maple cupcakes with tiny bits of applewood-smoked bacon. maple vanilla bean buttercream piped on top. a piece of maple-candied bacon for garnish. it’s pretty much perfect.

happy birthday, Recipe Swap!

be sure to check out my fellow recipe swapper’s interpretations of the Maple Cake below!


maple bacon mini cupcakes

Yield: 24 mini cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


for the maple bacon cupcakes

2 strips bacon, frozen (it will be MUCH easier to dice up this way!)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream (feel free to substitute milk or half & half!)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the maple vanilla bean buttercream>

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectionersʼ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, at room temperature
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 strips bacon
2 tablespoons maple syrup


for the maple bacon cupcakes

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven.

place mini cupcake liners into mini muffin tins, and set aside.

using a sharp chef's knife, dice the frozen bacon strips into small cubes. you really only need to freeze the bacon for about 20 minutes or so, just so it firms up a bit. that way, it's much easier to dice up safely!

place a small saute pan over medium heat, and add the diced bacon to the pan. saute over medium heat until bacon is browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.

when the bacon is browned, remove the pan from the heat and allow the bacon bits to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. set aside.

sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.

in a medium bowl, beat the unsalted butter at room temperature with a spatula until soft and creamy, about 1 minute.

slowly drizzle in the maple syrup a bit at a time and beat to combine with the butter until smooth and well-incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

add the egg to the butter-maple syrup mixture, and beat until well-combined, about 30 seconds.

add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix until just blended and combined, about 30 seconds.

add the heavy cream and vanilla, and beat until combined and smooth, about 20 seconds.

fold the bacon bits into the batter, stirring to distribute them throughout.

using either a teaspoon or a small portion scoop (mine is a #70, which holds a little over 2 teaspoons), portion the batter into the lined mini muffin tins, filling about 3/4 the way up the sides.

bake at 350 degrees F for 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the mini cupcakes comes out clean.

remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire baking rack and allowing to cool completely before frosting.

the mini cupcakes will keep, unfrosted and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

for the maple vanilla bean buttercream

in a small bowl, beat the butter with a spatula until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

add the confectioners’ sugar and carefully mix together until combined, about 30 seconds.

add the maple syrup, and beat to combine.

add the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste, and beat with spatula until well-combined and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

for the candied bacon

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

line a small baking sheet with tin foil and lay bacon strips on top.

pour about half the maple syrup on the bacon strips and rub it in with your fingers. flip the bacon over and repeat with the remaining maple syrup.

place the pan in the oven and cook the bacon for about 10-15 minutes, until brown and crisp on the edges.

remove the bacon from the oven. using tongs, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. pat the top of the bacon lightly with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease.

after about 30 seconds of training, transfer the bacon to a cutting board and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

after 15 minutes, use a sharp chef’s knife to chop the bacon into 1/2” wide strips. allow to cool to room temperature.

assembling the cupcakes>

transfer the maple vanilla bean buttercream to a piping bag with a small tip fitted in. if you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a disposable zip-top bag, or simply frost the cupcakes with an offset spatula or butterknife.

frost each mini cupcake with the buttercream, and garnish with a cooled strip of candied bacon.

the maple bacon cupcakes are best enjoyed immediately, but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and brought to room temperature prior to serving.

a food + words original

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33 Responses to “maple bacon mini cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Kathryn — November 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    These are the cutest cupcakes ever. That little bacon rasher is just darling. I love this take on maple cake so much.

  2. #
    Cookin' Canuck — November 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    There is nothing better than pure maple syrup. The corn syrup-y stuff just can’t hold a candle to it. These cupcakes sound like an amazing treat of sweet and salty.

  3. #
    Haley — November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I so have got to make these for my boyfriend. Excited much! :)

  4. #
    Kaitlin — November 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Aw! cute cute cute! I love making breakfast for guys :D

    I have been dying to make maple bacon cupcakes. These sound and look fabulous!

  5. #
    Rachel — November 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    It’s true, guys are suckers for breakfast! Way to go with the maple and bacon! I am so tempted to go there, even if I’m a vegetarian. It’s bacon…so hard to resist!

  6. #
    Camilla Fay (Caffay Way) — November 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Cutest cupcakes ever and the photos are great!

  7. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    These cupcakes look amazing! I love the little piece of delicious bacon on top…yum!

  8. #
    emily | nomnivorous — November 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Awww, these are so very cute! I love the tiny bit of bacon in each one. I’m all for bite-size, delicious desserts.

  9. #
    Linda Eckhardt — November 7, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    did you say bacon ? everything’s better with bacon. what a hoot. LOVE your photography.

  10. #
    alex — November 8, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I agree, pure maple syrup is the ONLY way to go. perfect cupcakes..I’ll take 3 dozen please!

  11. #
    Jessica @ the Learning Curve — November 8, 2011 at 5:33 am

    You had me at bacon. :)

  12. #
    Erin — November 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Girls love bacon too! I’ve only had bacon in a dessert once though (Jessica @ How Sweet It Is cookies) but it blew my mind. Can imagine the same thing would happen with this cupcake.

  13. #
    Christin — November 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The cupcakes are adorable! Love that they are 2-bite. I’m with you – real maple syrup is worth the extra money.

  14. #
    Katie from Katie's Cucina — November 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Mmmm… bacon. I’ve always wanted to make bacon cupcakes! lol. I need to make these pronto. I will admit that I was a lover of faux syrup for years. That’s what my parents raised me on (tisk tisk to them). Now that I have a more refined pallet I can appreciate maple syrup. I will confess that I still have both in my fridge! lol.

  15. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Gorgeous! These look so delicious!

  16. #
    Sprigs of Rosemary — November 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I am so very tempted by these! I will have to take them for a test drive before Thanksgiving. And if I’m tempted, for sure every male around will be, too!

  17. #
    Alli — November 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Pancakes and syrup scented candle?! Brillian idea! And the sweet saltiness of bacon and maple in a cupcake has me thinking of my next birthday party cake!

  18. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — November 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Now, if I tell you these look fantastic I fear it might be a bit self congratulatory. Because I know someone else who might have done almost the same thing! Some may say the ‘fad’ of putting bacon on a frosted cupcake is over. I say…you’ve obviously never had one. These are adorable!

  19. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — November 9, 2011 at 12:53 am

    oh these look so fabulous!

  20. #
    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — November 9, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I love this post. I went through the same thing with my boyfriend – I couldn’t believe he would buy pancake syrup when you could have real maple! I still haven’t completely sold him, but these cupcakes sound like they could do the trick!!

  21. #
    brandi — November 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    yum yum. i could handle that for breakfast, easily.

  22. #
    DessertForTwo — November 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    These are darling!

    I agree-the best part of breakfast is when the maple syrup slides on over and kisses your bacon. Ahhh, life is good :)

  23. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — November 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Ummmm… this recipe makes me want to kiss your face!

  24. #
    Robbie — November 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I made this yesterday as a treat for my fiance when he got back from work! AMAZING!!! I asked him if we should put them on the dessert table at our wedding, and he said they wouldn’t last long enough to put up there… but we might still do it! I brought a few in for my secretary today, and she said they were awesome too! She suggested serving them at a brunch, which I think is an awesome idea! :)

  25. #
    Lana — November 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I have three girls and they would go crazy for these cupcakes! I love the candied piece of bacon on top – it makes for such a cute little dessert:)
    I also had to convert my husband and pull him away from dousing his breakfast with fake maple syrup, but he has not looked back ever since. It’s worth putting up a fight:)
    My oldest daughter has a birthday soon and I have to make these as a surprise, as she is a bacon fiend:)

  26. #
    carly {carlyklock} — December 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I made these bad boys for my husband’s birthday last year, and I haven’t had a better cupcake since. They are always a total hit. Mini is the only size for this recipe!

  27. #
    Joanne (Inspired Taste) — January 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    So cute! I haven’t actually had a bacon topped cupcake yet, so maybe it is time to do so?

    Lovely photo as always! – Joanne

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